The second installment in the His Dark Materials series starts off in our own universe, as opposed to the first volume, which began in Lyra Belacqua’s alternate Oxford. Will, a 12 year-old boy that has been taking take of his sick mother since he can remember, finds a window to another world, and is pulled alongside Lyra to new adventures and dangers.
I had a lot of problems with this. I read the first volume about the year ago, and though the universe was fantastic. The idea of deamons and this sort of steampunk enviromnment seem terrific. However, in the second book, all the elements Pullman had introduced were completely forgotten, and he focused more on bashing the church and religion, and what not.
I, I don’t know, this just wasn’t that good. I could definitely tell this was just a way to connect the first and last book, a bridge of sorts. Will just appears and is suddenly super important and relevant, and I just know Lyra will be paired with him sometime in the future. The parts that didn’t directly involve Lyra or Will were a drag to get through, and daemons were more or less left behind. In the first book I always pictured someone dragging a little animal behind. I didn’t get that here.
This was still fun to read, though. The notion of Dust still amuses me, and the angels creep me out, and there were definitely bits that were complete page-turners, but in the end, it’s all a bit a abrupt and falls short of my expectations.